In Monogamy, emerging character actor Chris Messina (Julie & Julia, Vicki Christina Barcelona) stars as Theo, a photographer in flux, both in his career and in his engagement to Nat (the lovely Rashida Jones), an accident-prone lounge-folk singer who's lost all receptiveness to his touch. When Nat gets laid up in the hospital, Theo uses the opportunity to stalk an anonymous client who's paying him to snap voyeuristic photos of her seemingly naughty, very public deeds. Nat, in turn, takes advantage of her solitude by getting the mourning out of the way for their crumbling relationship. Directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, whose last film, Murderball, earned him an Oscar nomination, Monogamy is a bit languorous and insecure; Shapiro's lack of narrative experience shows around the edges. But it's smart about love, and both Messina and Jones sell their respective stages of forlornness. — Justin Strout
Kill the Irishman (R)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Did you know that in the 1970s, Cleveland was smack in the middle of a huge mob war? Yeah, Cleveland, Ohio. It's probably the bland, monotonous Midwestern surroundings that make the true story Kill the Irishman such an exciting crime flick, something different from the typical goombas-in-Brooklyn nonsense. Ray Stevenson conquers the screen as Danny Greene, a larger-than-life Irish-American laborer who, believing himself to be a modern-day Celtic warrior, rises to the top of the crime food-chain through sheer will and gumption. This doesn't sit well with the Italians, who, true to the movie's title, try repeatedly to kill him. He's shot at, car bombed and beaten, but nothing keeps the man down. Written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh (The Punisher), I'm surprised this went straight to DVD. It's a classic waiting to be discovered, like a greener Goodfellas. — Louis Fowler
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Recent low-budget films like The Room and Birdemic have filled up theaters of ironic hipsters eager to laugh at and mock sheer cinematic ineptitude. Those films feel like they're bad on purpose, but for something to truly gain bad-movie status, I'd argue it needs to be organically discovered. This type of pathetic cinematic exploration is a bit of a hobby of mine, and has resulted in my latest find: the truly hilarious "urban" thriller N-Secure. The comically overacting Cordell Moore is wealthy businessman David Washington, a domineering dude who likes to have his significant other under his thumb. Badly devised themes of murder and intrigue hilariously mingle with bits of girl-power sisterhood that suggest Tyler Perry directing a movie for Cinemax, circa 1993. N-Secure may be completely n-ept, but's also an n-thrallingly bad movie that should be packing them in at midnight screenings. — Louis Fowler
The costumes were amazing and added to the brilliant production.
The striking colors and textures are reminiscent of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Lovely work.